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Companion Animal Practice
Canine elbow dysplasia 1. Aetiopathogenesis and diagnosis
  1. Neil Burton

    Neil Burton graduated from Bristol in 2001. After three years in general practice, he returned to Bristol where he is currently Intervet/Schering‐Plough resident in small animal orthopaedics. His interests include joint replacement, limb deformities and canine elbow dysplasia.

  2. Martin Owen

    Martin Owen graduated from Liverpool in 1992 and is currently senior lecturer in small animal orthopaedics at Bristol. He is an RCVS recognised specialist in small animal orthopaedics and a European specialist in small animal surgery


CANINE elbow dysplasia is a term encompassing multiple developmental anomalies of the cubital joint, including elbow incongruity, a fragmented medial coronoid process, an ununited anconeal process, osteochondrosis of the humeral condyle and an ununited medial epicondyle. Collectively, these lesions are a common cause of thoracic limb lameness in juvenile medium‐ and large‐breed dogs. However, the precise mechanisms by which these anomalies arise are still unknown. Diagnosis in some cases can be challenging, as can be determining the most appropriate course of treatment. This article reviews current understanding of the aetiopathogenesis of canine elbow dysplasia and outlines the approach to diagnosing the most common developmental anomalies associated with this condition. An article in the next issue will discuss the treatment and prognosis.

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